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Regs Update

Aviation Regulations Updates


Aviation Regulations Updates is the industry’s most comprehensive source of up-to-date European aviation regulatory information. Updated monthly, these pages keep you up-to-date with recent and proposed changes to EU Regulations and EASA Agency Measures relating to air operations and airworthiness. In addition, we also review and highlight information published by the UK CAA where relevant.

Material is reviewed and articles added as soon as practicable after publication by EASA, the European Commission, or the UK CAA, as applicable.

Should you have any comments or suggestions relating to the Regs Update site, please use the Contact Us page or do not hesitate to contact David Innes, Principal Consultant and Civil Aviation Regulations Leader at Baines Simmons.

We now have a new section for Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS) with Regulations Updates for RPAS and UAV/UAS. Click here to find out more >>

Latest Updates

17/12/2014   EASA discusses Implementing Rules for occurrence reporting according to Regulation (EU) 376/2014

At the last EASA Committee meeting (8-9 October 2014), a first exchange of views on the draft took place, with the Commission presenting the draft as well as information related to its legal basis and to the various consultations undertaken during the preparation of the draft.

According to official records, the draft was received positively by the Member States, several of whom intervened to ask clarifications and suggest minor changes to the draft. The Member States were asked to send any further written comments by 31 October. The Commission’s intention is to seek the Committee’s opinion under the examination procedure during the next EASA Committee in January 2015.

Furthermore, the UK CAA reports that the Commission also advised the Committee that it would be preparing guidance on the implementation of the just culture provisions of the Regulation and would be holding a conference on this subject in 2015.

The same source goes on to report that there followed a wide ranging discussion about the reporting criteria and eliminating inconsistencies and overlaps between reporting requirements from different organisations. The Commission recognised that there was need for a better explanation of who should report what. However, that was not considered within the scope of the Implementing Regulation and it would be dealt with in guidance material. EASA had been involved in the drafting of the Annexes to the Regulation and had ensured that they were consistent with the implementing rules and ICAO taxonomy.

We recommend that all individuals and organisations within the European Design, Production, Operations and Continuing Airworthiness sectors remain vigilant of these new "universal" reporting requirements and the time scales involved in their implementation.

13/10/2014   EASA invites feedback on rulemaking process

One of EASA’s core values is to strive to satisfy its stakeholders' expectations without compromising its responsibilities for safety and environmental protection, by inspiring confidence, in particular to the general public, while ensuring that it acts in an effective and efficient way.

Within this context, it has decided to conduct stakeholder satisfaction surveys on a regular basis in order to continuously improve its processes.

It would therefore like to encourage all aviation stakeholders to provide them with feedback by filling in the following questionnaire:


The survey will be kept open till 14 November.

We recommend anyone having an interest in or impacted by EASA rulemaking to take part in these surveys.

19/09/2014   EASA takes a more active role in RPAS regulation

In September, EASA announced that it is to take a more active role in RPAS regulation, as in the meeting for the new governance of JARUS, Eric Sivel of EASA was elected Chairman, Christopher Swider of the FAA was elected as Vice-Chair. JARUS (Joint Authorities for Rulemaking on Unmanned Systems) is a global grouping of authorities developing and proposing regulations for Remotely Piloted Aircraft.

During the same meeting, JARUS agreed to a concept of operations which defines how and when these new types of aircraft should be regulated. This is intended to be a flexible and proportionate approach to regulating them. For example, the simplest aircraft and their operations would not to be regulated at all. JARUS has created a secretariat to support the work, hosted by the EASA Brussels office, with Mike Lissone of EUROCONTROL confirmed to head it up. The plenary also decided to increase the interactions between JARUS and the industry and to actively support the work of ICAO in the field of RPAS.

The European Commission has developed a roadmap for RPAS development and regulation and EASA has a page of its website dedicated to the subject.

We recommend that organisations involved in the Design, Production, Operation and/or maintenance of RPAS maintain close contact with these initiatives and especially the work of JARUS.

25/08/2014   EASA proposes a harmonised approach to a performance-based environment

EASA has published a Report for a Harmonised European Approach to a Performance-Based Environment. This is its current thinking on the basis on which performance based regulation, a regulatory approach that focuses on desired and measurable outcome, can be built. With this approach the oversight focuses on the management of operational risks besides ensuring compliance to regulation.

The report explains that whilst both technical advancements and development of detailed regulations have helped to establish the safe system and good safety record we have today, it is vital that a harmonised European approach to a Performance-Based Environment (PBE) is further developed in order to maintain and continuously improve this safety record. The report describes the key concepts of how PBE can enable more effective management of safety and its associated risks and will outline the key definitions that need to be agreed at European level. It also outlines the enablers required to implement PBE at a total system level and highlight the advantages, challenges and options of introducing a more risk-based approach into the existing regulatory system. Finally, EASA has published it to support the discussion on future EU aviation regulation and also to contribute to a common European understanding on such concepts as Performance-based Rules (PBR), Risk-based Oversight (RBO) and Performance-based Oversight (PBO).

Further to our article, “EASA and Commission examines aviation safety regulation in Europe”, dated 23/05/2014, this issue forms the opening subject for conversation in A-NPA-2014-12 and our responses to the questions are as follows:

Do you see issues with the existing, rather prescriptive compliance-based system as described above?

Yes; The EASA report titled A Harmonised European Approach to a Performance Based Environmentcaptures the issues perfectly. We fully endorse and agree with the paper and its recommendations.

What measures could be taken to best address these issues?

The implementation of the recommendations of the report referenced above. A revised regulatory environment shifting the focus onto safety performance, building on minimum regulatory compliance, will enable the continued improvement to EU Aviation safety levels. In our experience, those organisations that actively manage Safety Performance from boardroom level achieve the best results.

What would you see as the most relevant elements of a performance-based regulatory system?

Within both the regulatory bodies and the regulated entities, we have proven that Safety Leadership, Capability, Culture, Competence and Assurance are the most important / relevant issues. As stated within the report, the Regulations will require revision to set objectives, and the establishment and management using Safety Performance Indicators will be required.

To what extent should performance-based regulation be substituting or be complementary to the existing prescriptive rule system?

The current regulatory system establishes as set of controls to manage risk, however compliance with these detailed technical standards does not in itself ensure a satisfactory level of safety performance. We perceive that a phased approach to implementing to a performance based environment would be the safest option. Therefore, we recommend that the current rules are complimented by the addition of the objectives of the particular requirement initially, with a migration towards less prescriptive requirements as industry and regulatory bodies build their competence to robustly manage safety on a case by case basis. All of the foregoing should be supported by safety data and information to enable risk-based decision-making.

How do you suggest to implement the actions contained in the EASp, and which role should the different actors be given?

The EASp should be implemented through the establishment of relevant safety performance objectives for both the industry and regulatory body stakeholders.

Do you see the need for further expanding the systemic mechanism and process of data collection, analysis and report, including setting safety performance indicators and targets? Which role should be attributed to EASA in this regard?

Yes; There will be a need to collect, analyse and interpret data at a number of different levels. EASA should place the onus on the Competent Authorities to establish and monitor performance indicators at national level. EASA itself should establish performance indicators for itself to monitor the safety performance of its certification and rule-making activities.

21/08/2014   UK CAA advises industry of “new” mandatory occurrence reporting requirements

Further to our article, “EU adopts new European mandatory occurrence reporting requirements”, dated 24/04/2014, the UK CAA advises industry of the new Regulation and provides guidance on terminology and applicability in its Information Notice IN-2014/141.

As a reminder, Regulation (EU) No. 376/2014 on the reporting, analysis and follow-up of occurrences in civil aviation came into effect on 20/04/2014, and:

  • becomes applicable on 15 November 2015;
  • repeals Directive 2003/42/EC, Commission Regulations (EC) No. 1321/2007, and (EC) No. 1330/2007; and
  • amends the aircraft accident investigation Regulation (EU) No. 996/2010.

Organisations have until 15 November 2015 to comply with the Regulation, and its Implementing Regulation (expected to be adopted in early 2015).

It places additional requirements on organisations, competent authorities and the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) beyond what is currently contained within existing legislation for both occurrence reporting and internal occurrence reporting systems.

Specific items worthy of note include:

  • Ground handling organisations are now covered by this Regulation.
  • Organisations are to ensure that their safety reporting system is compatible with the European Co-ordination Centre for Accident and Incident Reporting Systems (ECCAIRS) software and the Accident/Incident Data Reporting (ADREP) taxonomy.
  • Organisations shall ensure that the preliminary results of the analysis of a mandatory occurrence report are submitted to the competent authority (CAA) within 30 days and shall report the final results of analysis within three months

All organisations involved within the aviation sector, whether approved (certificated) or not, should review the Regulation and the ADREP taxonomy, to ascertain organisational compliance with the Regulation and compatibility with the taxonomy, subject to further clarification in the Implementing Regulation.

11/08/2014   Rulemaking proposals – a reminder to industry

According to Article 3(3) of the Rulemaking Procedure adopted by Agency's Management Board, any person or organisation may propose the development of a new rule or an amendment thereto.

In order to be considered in the development of the next Rulemaking Programme/s the proposals should be submitted to EASA not later than 30 September at RWPD@easa.europa.eu using the Rulemaking Proposal Form. The Rulemaking Proposal Form has been designed to solicit the most information from the proposer to facilitate the assessment of the proposal and will further aid in the preparation of rulemaking documentation once the proposal is accepted onto the Rulemaking Programme.

Contributors should aid this process by submitting as much information as they can, including references to any supporting documents. Failure to complete the form in full is not a justification for rejecting the proposal, although it may delay the proposal's acceptance.

Baines Simmons is happy to discuss and advise on potential rulemaking proposals with stakeholders and will support these whenever we feel we can.

13/06/2014   EASA launches Applicant Portal

As part of a range of improvements designed to ensure that applicants receive an efficient and consistent service, EASA has launched the EASA Applicant Portal, what it hopes to prove to be a convenient gateway allowing applicants to prepare and submit applications online. It also allows applicants to view and monitor the status of their applications, and to manage their own contact details and user credentials.

EASA believes that applying online will bring extensive benefits to the application process. Its guided interface will simplify applying for certification tasks, save applicants time and effort, minimise delays caused by validation issues and make the entire process more transparent. In short, the EASA envisages the overall efficiency of the application process will be improved, reducing administrative transactions and thus helping EASA schedule certification work in a timely manner.

The Portal has a user guide for information on how to register to use of the Applicant Portal, view and filter your applications, view and edit contact persons associated with your EASA applicant account, provide credentials for application management users and, last but not least, on how to register and submit applications.

Initially, aimed at Design Organisation Approval holders, it will be possible to submit applications for the following certification tasks online:

  • Major Change
  • Major Repair
  • Derivative
  • Minor Change
  • Minor Repair
  • Supplemental Type Certificate – Initial
  • Supplemental Type Certificate – Major Change
  • ETSOA – Initial
  • ETSOA – Minor Change

However, EASA states that further application types will be gradually introduced in future updates of the Applicant Portal.

We would be interested in hearing from any organisations using the Portal about how useful it proves in use. The Applicant Portal may be found at:


06/06/2014   EASA publishes its latest safety review

According to Patrick Ky, this year’s Annual Safety Review shows that positive safety trends are continuing in commercial air transport. The EASA region remains one of the safest in the world.

In 2013 there was no fatal accident in commercial air transport aeroplanes in the EASA Member States. Since 2007, there has been a marked decrease in the number of accidents and in the number of persons injured. This consistent trend indicates there is firm improvement in safety. However, he goes on to caution that we should never overlook that maintaining safety requires vigilance, as a single fatal accident can stop or even reverse this positive trend.

This edition of the Annual Safety Review covers almost all civil aviation activities showing how diverse they can be; from the regular aeroplane flights from one city to another, to a helicopter medical emergency flight in a remote location. It also shows that depending on the type of operation or category of aircraft involved, the events leading to an accident may differ. Each activity has its own risk issues and safety priorities which require using appropriate and proportionate measures.

In order to generate this document, EASA has derived data from the safety occurrences reported by aviation professionals across Europe. The importance of reporting has been recognised at a European level with the adoption of Regulation (EU) 376/2014 on the Reporting, Analysis and Follow-up of Occurrences in Civil Aviation. This regulation strengthens the protection of the reporters and fosters the establishment of ‘Just Culture’. In addition, the Review is reliant on the endeavours of the accident investigators, whose diligent work is also recognised by Ky.

This Annual Safety Review is one of the few publications worldwide, which is so rich in safety data and is published with consistent regularity. This publication will continue to evolve and in the future it will be more closely linked to the European Aviation Safety Plan (EASp) which identifies the key safety risks and sets the safety priorities for Europe.

As always, only time will tell whether Europe can continue to maintain and hopefully improve levels of aviation safety, but until the industry and private owners have fully effective Safety Management Systems across the board, which must be able to predict levels of safety in the future, can we really consider our industry “safe”? Past performance is no indicator of future performance ...

05/06/2014   UK CAA announces shift in safety regulation and oversight policy

The UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has released more information about its new approach to the safety regulation of the aviation industry. The UK CAA had announced its intention to move to a regime of ‘performance based’ oversight last year, and has now published further details for the airlines, airports and ground handling organisations affected.

The move follows a major industry conference in May, at which the UK CAA committed itself to regulating in a more proportionate, effective and risk-based way. The regulator explained that performance based oversight will draw upon information generated by organisations’ own safety management systems, as well as other sources of relevant data, to identify, and then tackle, those areas that generate the greatest risks to safety.

Mark Swan, Director of the UK CAA’s Safety and Airspace Regulation Group, said: “Although UK commercial aviation has an excellent safety record, we cannot be complacent. Performance based regulation takes our safety oversight to a new level. By working hand-in-hand with the aviation industry, EASA and other national authorities, to identify and manage risk effectively, we can concentrate our attention where it is most needed. I am very confident that the outstanding co-operation we are receiving from industry will ensure the success of this new safety regime.” The UK CAA’s transformation to performance based oversight, and what it means in practice, was laid out to 160 senior industry leaders and accountable managers at the conference. Delegates were given the opportunity to debate the concept and practicalities, including the likely benefits and the challenges to both the UK CAA and themselves. The conference agenda and the conference presentations and speeches can be found on the UK CAA’s website.

For more information on the UK CAA’s views and plans surrounding performance based oversight go towww.caa.co.uk/pbr and refer to its latest publication “The transformation to performance-based regulation (CAP1148).

25/05/2014   EASA and Commission examines aviation safety regulation in Europe

Through its Advance Notice of Proposed Amendment (A-NPA 2014-12) EASA is addressing the aviation community in the public and private sector and to aviation experts involved in professional or recreational activities, inviting all addressees to contribute by answering the questions listed.

The A-NPA supports a policy initiative by the European Commission whose aim is to identify the most appropriate ways to update and improve Regulation (EC) 216/2008 (the Basic Regulation) in order to make it best respond to changes to the aviation environment and subsequent challenges to its safety. The aviation community is invited to contribute to the parallel European Commission’s consultation, which is considering these issues from a broader perspective.

This initiative is based on a variety of established high-level policies and technical deliberations that took place in recent years and identified current issues and possible areas of improvement. These inputs are reflected upon in the A-NPA. Consequently, it remains at high generic policy level and refrains from addressing technical or legal details which will be dealt with at a later procedural stage, as necessary.

The objectives of the possible adjustments to the EASA Basic Regulation focus on preparing the European aviation system for the mid and long-term future. The high level of aviation safety in Europe is to be maintained, which might call for technical adjustments to the EASA’s scope as well as addressing emerging technologies and respective solutions, namely steps towards performance-based regulation and fullest use of safety management systems. The ways of interaction and cooperation at all levels, and especially between the Member States’ authorities and EASA, need to be looked at and the use of resources needs to be optimised. A more flexible attribution of responsibilities to address expertise and resource issues may be beneficial to this end. Furthermore, the long-term stability and appropriateness of the EASA funding system should be fostered, and a balanced level of beneficiaries’ contributions should be achieved.

Focussing on these objectives, this A-NPA addresses seven different areas of potential change in order to increase the effectiveness of the European aviation system:

  • performance-based and integrated approach to safety;
  • modernising and updating the EASA’s safety remit;
  • extending the EASA’s remit beyond safety;
  • optimising the use of available resources;
  • ensuring an adequate and stable EASA funding;
  • further integration of aviation aspects; and
  • aviation regulation beyond the EASA’s facets.

Each of the area above lists possible adjustments and leads to an attached set of questions addressed to the public. Free commenting on any of these matters is also welcome.

The deadline for comments/responses to the questions is 15 September 2014 and these should be made using the CRT.

EASA envisages publishing an Opinion to be taken into account by the European Commission for possible future legislative proposals, after assessing the feedback on this A-NPA. In this context, answers by the public to the questions will be crucial in the further policy and legislative decision-making process in so far as they are expected to establish a best-experience and knowledge-based footing.

We have identified a number of areas that need very careful consideration by industry and competent authorities alike and very much recommend that all interested parties read and review the proposals made by EASA and the Commission, both separately and together, because it will be the Commission ultimately that makes the recommendations to the Parliament and Council for Regulatory change.

We are happy to work with all areas of industry in shaping the response to these two parallel consultations with the aim of ensuring a balanced and proportionate outcome, increasing levels of aviation safety within a commercially acceptable framework.

Note: Refer to our article, “EASA proposes a harmonised approach to a performance-based environment”, dated 25/08/2014 for further information and our responses to some of the questions posed.

22/05/2014   UK CAA unveils its strategy for Human Factors in aviation

Through its Information Notice IN-2014/088, the UK CAA highlights the recent publication of the UK Strategy for Human Factors in Civil Aviation and the supporting consolidated response document.

The strategy document outlines the CAA’s aims and direction in promoting and understanding Human Factors in the interest of improving aviation safety and can be found at www.caa.co.uk/humanfactors.

The strategy has a broad scope covering everyone that has an impact on flight safety. This ranges from the design and manufacture stage of aircraft and equipment, to the end user and all those who are involved in between.

The UK CAA explains that a number of changes have been made to the strategy in response to the consultation and, although a detailed comment response document was not produced, a consolidated response outlining overall changes to the strategy has been produced and is published with this strategy.

We are proud to have contributed to this document through the consultation process.

06/05/2014   Information for operators from outside the EU

We would draw the attention of operators whose principal place of business is outside the EU to our new page: “Third Country Operators” where the introduction of the TCO Regulation is outlined and where further advisory material will be published in due course.

24/04/2014   EU adopts new European mandatory occurrence reporting requirements

The European Parliament and Council (EP&C) has adopted a Regulation ((EU) 376/2014) introducing a European-wide requirement to report safety related occurrences.

The EP&C is of the opinion that “experience has shown that accidents are often preceded by safety-related incidents and deficiencies revealing the existence of safety hazards. Safety information is therefore an important resource for the detection of potential safety hazards. In addition, whilst the ability to learn from an accident is crucial, purely reactive systems have been found to be of limited use in continuing to bring forward improvements. Reactive systems should therefore be complemented by proactive systems which use other types of safety information to make effective improvements in aviation safety. The Union, its Member States, the European Aviation Safety Agency and organisations should contribute to the improvement of aviation safety through the introduction of more proactive and evidence based safety systems which focus on accident prevention based on the analysis of all relevant safety information, including information on civil aviation occurrences.”

Furthermore “in order to improve aviation safety, relevant civil aviation safety information should be reported, collected, stored, protected, exchanged, disseminated and analysed, and appropriate safety action should be taken on the basis of the information collected. This proactive and evidence-based approach should be implemented by the relevant aviation safety authorities of Member States, by organisations as part of their safety management system and by EASA”.

It is necessary to ensure that front-line aviation professionals report occurrences that pose a significant risk to aviation safety. Voluntary reporting systems should complement the mandatory reporting systems, and both should allow individuals to report details of aviation safety-related occurrences. Mandatory and voluntary reporting systems should be set up within organisations, the Agency and competent authorities of the Member States. The information collected should be transferred to the authority competent for appropriate monitoring in order to enhance aviation safety. Organisations should analyse those occurrences that could have an impact on safety, in order to identify safety hazards and take any appropriate corrective or preventive action. Organisations should send the preliminary results of their analyses to the competent authority of their Member States or to the Agency and should also send them the final results if those results identify an actual or potential aviation safety risk. The competent authorities of the Member States and EASA should put in place a similar procedure for those occurrences that have been directly submitted to them and should adequately monitor the organisation's assessment and any corrective or preventive action taken.

Various categories of staff working or otherwise engaged in civil aviation witness events which are of relevance to accident prevention. They should therefore have access to tools enabling them to report such events, and their protection should be guaranteed. In order to encourage staff to report occurrences and enable them to appreciate more fully the positive impact which occurrence reporting has on air safety, they should be regularly informed about action taken under occurrence reporting systems.

Furthermore the EP&C considers the civil aviation system should promote a ‘safety culture’ facilitating the spontaneous reporting of occurrences and thereby advancing the principle of a ‘just culture’. ‘Just culture’ is an essential element of a broader ‘safety culture’, which forms the basis of a robust safety management system. An environment embracing ‘safety culture’ principles should not prevent action being taken where necessary to maintain or improve the level of aviation safety.

A ‘just culture’ should encourage individuals to report safety-related information. It should not, however, absolve individuals of their normal responsibilities. In this context, employees and contracted personnel should not be subject to any prejudice on the basis of information provided pursuant to this Regulation, except in cases of wilful misconduct or where there has been manifest, severe and serious disregard with respect to an obvious risk and profound failure of professional responsibility to take such care as is evidently required in the circumstances, causing foreseeable damage to a person or to property, or seriously compromising the level of aviation safety.

The Regulation aims to improve aviation safety by ensuring that relevant safety information relating to civil aviation is reported, collected, stored, protected, exchanged, disseminated and analysed. This Regulation ensures:

  • that, where appropriate, safety action is taken in a timely manner based on analysis of the information collected;
  • the continued availability of safety information by introducing rules on confidentiality and on the appropriate use of information and through the harmonised and enhanced protection of reporters and persons mentioned in occurrence reports; and
  • that aviation safety risks are considered and dealt with at both Union level and national level.

The sole objective of occurrence reporting is the prevention of accidents and incidents and not to attribute blame or liability.

It applies to occurrences and other safety-related information involving civil aircraft, with the exception of aircraft referred to in Annex II to the Basic Regulation (Excluded aircraft).

The Regulation includes a number of requirements relating to, for example:

  • EASA, Member States and all organisations must establish a mandatory reporting system
  • The categories of natural persons obliged to report, for example:
    • the pilot in command;
    • a person engaged in designing, manufacturing, continuous airworthiness monitoring, maintaining or modifying an aircraft, or any equipment or part thereof, under the oversight of a Member State or of the Agency;
    • a person who signs an airworthiness review certificate, or a release to service in respect of an aircraft or any equipment or part thereof, under the oversight of a Member State or of the Agency;
    • a person who performs a function which requires him or her to be authorised by a Member State as a staff member of an air traffic service provider entrusted with responsibilities related to air navigation services or as a flight information service officer;
    • a person who performs a function connected with the safety management of an airport;
    • a person who performs a function connected with the installation, modification, maintenance, repair, overhaul, flight-checking or inspection of air navigation facilities for which a Member State ensures the oversight;
    • a person who performs a function connected with the ground handling of aircraft, including fuelling, loadsheet preparation, loading, de-icing and towing.
  • Organisations must report such occurrences to their competent authority within 72 hours.
  • Organisations must establish a voluntary reporting system to collect lower level safety-related information.
  • Collection and storage of reported information.
  • Quality and content of reports.
  • Organisations must adopt internal rules describing how ‘just culture’ principles, are guaranteed and implemented within that organisation.

This is a substantial and wide-ranging piece of legislation, which goes beyond many existing “EASA” requirements.

All personnel and organisations involved in aviation activities are strongly recommended to thoroughly review the obligations placed upon them by these new requirements and establish the required reporting systems by 15 November 2015, subject to the Commission adopting a list classifying occurrences to be referred to when reporting occurrences.

Baines Simmons is ready, willing, and able to support Member States, Competent Authorities and affected organisations in the design and effective implementation of the required reporting systems and the establishment of Just Culture principles throughout.

20/12/2013   EASA issues revised Rulemaking programme for 2014-2017

Further to our article, dated 27/08/2014, the Rulemaking Programme 2014-2017 was officially adopted in August 2013. However, since then, the Agency’s Executive Director and the Management Board requested to take into account the overload of the EU aviation regulatory system and the economic downturn, calling for a breathing space:

  • to allow for consolidation of the existing regulatory framework;
  • to facilitate introduction of new key technologies and systems; and
  • to focus on proportionality and suitability of regulations (‘better regulation’).

Taking into account this feedback, the Agency exceptionally revised its recently adopted Programme. The priorities for the revised Programme in 2014 and 2015 are to:

  • address (urgent) safety issues/safety recommendations;
  • focus on core tasks and those activities which respond clearly to safety needs which will deliver important gains in terms of efficacy and efficiency of the safety system;
  • implement General Aviation strategy via project and roadmap (focus on airworthiness and aircrew regulations);
  • contribute to ATM regulatory roadmap/deployment of SESAR and prioritise the work accordingly;
  • continue a proactive role in ICAO’s environmental protection work and keep European environmental regulation in line with ICAO SARPs;
  • formulate Agency’s views on regulatory issues such as Performance-Based Regulation, Total System Approach, etc.;
  • support Member States and Industry on the new regulations and implement ‘better regulation’ proposals; and
  • carry out a regular review of the existing rules to adapt the framework to the regulatory and technological needs.

In summary:

  • 34 projects have been taken out from this programme; and
  • 67 projects have changed, either in terms of scope (decisions removed, tasks merged) or in terms of timing (starting date or end rescheduled backwards).

The revised 4-year 2014-2017 Rulemaking Programme may be viewed here.

19/12/2013   EASA Management Board works to simplify Rulemaking Programme

In its Information Notice IN–2013/197, the UK CAA advises that the EASA Management Board (EMB) is looking to further develop the Agency’s rulemaking strategy.

The EMB has welcomed a joint Agency/Commission paper on a strategy for ‘better regulation’. This encompassed measures not only for a simpler EASA rulemaking programme, but also other initiatives that will contribute to a more risk-based and proportionate approach to regulation, including better implementation and standardisation. Emphasis was placed on the need to provide more support for all stakeholders, including helping better understanding of the regulations. A revised draft 2014-2017 Rulemaking Programme was presented in which less rulemaking tasks would be undertaken in 2014 and 2015.

Without reviewing the paper, we cannot comment directly on its content, however we do encourage a simplified approach to rulemaking coupled with greater support to industry to ensure full understanding and more consistent implementation and enforcement (standardisation).

We are concerned that there is a real risk to aviation safety represented by both EASA in Europe and the FAA in the USA relying too much and too soon on the implementation of SMS across the aviation sector. It is our opinion that effective Management Systems must be implemented and allowed to mature before we can have substantive faith in the safety data they produce and the decisions being made using those data. Whilst at the joint FAA/EASA Safety Conference in Paris last summer, we witnessed what appeared to be a headlong rush to embrace SMS and immediately take credit by reducing oversight, based upon a potentially inadequate picture of risk.

01/11/2013   New Comitology website for public information

We are indebted to the UK CAA for advising us, through its Information Notice IN-2013/173, that there is now a public website available to track the work of the EASA Committee via the Commission’sComitology Register.

At first sight this is a powerful, if not daunting, website as it covers all areas of Commission activity, and not simply aviation safety. We have yet to explore this in any depth, but to limit the number of search results and ensure focus on aviation safety matters, we suggest that the “Service responsible” in the “Committee / Basic legal act” box is set to Mobility and Transport.

We recommend that all approved organisations ensure that within the management structure there are clear accountabilities for maintaining currency with all applicable Regulations, Decisions, and AMC & GM, as well as those amendments being proposed and progressing through the Rulemaking and Comitology processes. Roles and responsibilities should be defined ensuring all sources of such information are regularly accessed, reviewed, and documented records maintained of organisational discussions and actions.

27/08/2013   EASA publishes 2014-2017 Rulemaking programme

Through the publication of Decision 2013/023/R EASA has adopted its 4-year Rulemaking Programme 2014-2017. The Rulemaking Programme contains the rules which are expected to be issued in the year 2014 and an indicative plan ahead for the years 2015-2017; it is subject to annual review taking into account the identified priorities and the resources available.

The programme has in total 201 rulemaking projects and takes into account inputs from different policies, processes and initiatives:

  • EASp and related initiatives (e.g. the European Action Plan for the Prevention of Runway Excursions (EAPRE));
  • Safety Recommendations;
  • Feedback from Certification, Standardisation and Implementation, including rules enabling the latest technological developments;
  • Legal obligations, including the need to harmonise EASA and SES frameworks;
  • Latest policy developments and related requests from the EC;
  • Discussions on ‘proportionality’ and the European General Aviation Safety Strategy;
  • On-going research and development programmes (e.g. anticipated SESAR deployment planning );
  • ICAO work and the regulatory coordination with key third country partners ensuring level playing field and harmonisation at global scale.

EASA highlights the following areas as being of particular interest:

  • Product safety (in particular, light aircraft design);
  • Air Operations and Aircrew (feedback from implementation of new rules together with other safety enhancements, including Flight Time Limitations);
  • ATM/ANS and Aerodromes projects;
  • Environmental protection (adoption of CAEP/9 and preparation for CAEP/10)

We recommend that all stakeholders review the Programme to understand its scope and potential for impact on activities and business plans. Interested parties should maintain a continuing dialogue with the Agency to ensure they participate fully in current and forthcoming rulemaking tasks.

21/08/2013   UK CAA publishes SMS guidance for small non-complex organisations

In its newest publication on the subject of Safety Management Systems (CAP1059), the UK CAA issues guidance material to those organisations considered small and non-complex. It encourages such organisations to use the publication in conjunction with the ICAO Safety Management Manual*, rather than using other sources of advice and guidance.

We firmly believe the success of your SMS relies significantly upon a number of factors and aspects that spread far beyond the constraints of the Management System requirements. These factors are illustrated in our SMARRT Safety Performance Model which can be seen on our website.

Whilst we are yet to review this publication, we would encourage all organisations to seek industry leading guidance in best practice at all times, rather than relying solely upon guidance material issued by regulatory bodies, in order to achieve the greatest safety and business benefits from your SMS.

* ICAO DOC 9859, last revised May 2013, available from ICAO

12/06/2013   EASA publishes Annual Safety Review 2012

The Annual Safety Review is compiled by EASA to inform the public of the general safety level in the field of civil aviation as required by the Basic Regulation. To prepare the reviews, the Agency had access to accident information collected by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) through its Accident/Incident Data Reporting (ADREP) system as well as accident statistics published by ICAO.

Highlights from the report include:

  • The worldwide rate of fatal accidents for scheduled passenger and cargo flights has continued to decrease, providing a steady improvement in aviation safety. The rate of fatal accidents in EASA Member States is comparable with and slightly lower than North America.
  • For Commercial Air Transport Aeroplanes between 2001 and 2010 there was an average of 25 accidents per year, including 3 fatal accidents per year. In 2012 there were 34 accidents, of which 1 was fatal. The fatality occurred when a ground operator was killed during aircraft loading. The most common type of accident is an “abnormal runway contact” while the most common type of fatal accident is a “loss of control in flight”.
  • For Commercial Air Transport Helicopters between 2001 and 2010, there was an average of 13 accidents per year, including 3 fatal accidents per year. In 2012 there were 11 accidents, of which 2 were fatal. The most common type of accident is a “loss of control in flight” while the most common type of fatal accident is a “controlled flight into terrain”.
  • The number of accidents involving General Aviation light aircraft has decreased by 10% compared with the previous five-year period. The number of fatal accidents decreased by 7%. However, exposure data for these aircraft is not available so it is not known whether there has been less general aviation activity as a result of the economic downturn and poor weather in 2012.

We consider such reports are useful to industry in relation to safety promotion, training and risk assessment.

10/05/2013   EASA publishes opt-out details – a timely reminder

EASA has published (since 2004) opt-outs to Commission Regulations, which is based on the philosophy of transparency, making it easier to find out details about the use of opt-outs provisions by Member States.

The information can be found on the Opt-out to Regulations page and may be of use to competent authorities and other organisations from time to time. Sections relate to:

  • airworthiness regulations; and
  • air operations/aircrew regulations

Currently, no opt-out information is published for the ATM/ANS regulations.

10/05/2013   UK CAA Official Record Series 4 (ORS4) – a timely reminder

UK aviation industry individuals and organisations are reminded of the Official Record Series 4, being the place where the UK CAA publishes a range of information, including general approvals, exemptions, etc. Individuals and organisations often rely upon these exemptions and approvals but in our experience are rarely aware of them or acknowledge them in published policies and procedures, etc.

We recommend that organisations should become familiar with those approvals and exemptions that affect their organisation and/or its activities and ensure that they continue to work within the terms thereof.

20/04/2013   UK CAA launches consultation on aviation HF strategy

The UK CAA advises UK industry of its strategy paper for Human Factors in aviation and invites responses to a number of questions:

  • What do you think of the strategy vision? Do you have any suggested improvements that could make a tangible difference to aviation safety?
  • What do you think the achievable outcomes would be within your community domain of pursuing the vision within the strategy?
  • Do you think we have fully captured the HF challenges of regulating and maintaining safety?
  • Would you agree that the strategy sets the direction for HF issues currently facing the UK aviation sector?
  • Are the strategies we have described sufficient to deliver the desired outcomes?
  • Is the written style and tone appropriate, engaging and clear?
  • Are the HF competencies identified correct and complete?
  • Does the One Year Plan contain actions that are useful and appropriate? What other specific actions should be considered for next year?
  • Any further comments or suggestions?

We encourage individuals and organisations across UK industry to review the Information Notice (IN-2013/064), the strategy paper, and other referenced documents, and comment by 19 July 2013 to:
Ben Alcott
Head Group Safety Services
Civil Aviation Authority
Safety Regulation Group
Aviation House
Gatwick Airport South
West Sussex

Email: humanfactors@caa.co.uk

28/01/2013   Regulation of General Aviation (revised January 2013)

The UK CAA reports (December 2012) that the Commission has presented proposals on how to take forward the recommendations of the European General Aviation Strategy, as endorsed by the EASA Management Board in September 2012, and which met with broad support.

The UK raised its concern that Principle 4 (protect grandfather rights) of the Strategy paper had been omitted from the Commission’s proposal. France expressed support for the UK position, mentioning in particular the second aspect of that principle, flexibility to continue specific local activities under NAA responsibility when they have not proven harmful to safety, to fair competition or to free circulation.

We will continue to monitor activity and revise this article in the light of further updates from EASA/UK CAA.

The UK CAA reports that there was a substantial discussion at the EASA Management Board meeting in March on whether a fresh look needed to be taken at the regulation of General Aviation (GA) within the EASA system, on the basis of an Agency paper and a paper prepared by Europe Air Sports and the International Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, presented on their behalf by Martin Robinson (a member of the EASA Advisory Board).

The Board agreed that:

  • although the subject was complex and difficult, action needed to be taken because there were serious risks that GA would significantly decline and/or that non-compliance would increase,
  • the acceptable level of safety risk for GA must be higher than that for Commercial Air Transport Operations,
  • more effort was needed to avoid mixing regulations for these different kind of operations, and
  • the simplicity and accessibility of GA rules should be increased.

As a result, the members agreed to set up a group of around experts, comprised of Agency, stakeholder, NAA, and Commission experts to develop broad top-level guidelines for how GA could more effectively and proportionately be regulated. The group would need to work quickly, and should clarify with the Commission how its work would relate to handling current Agency proposals for new implementing rules for non-commercial operations and special operations. However, the Board suggested that expert group should not consider continuing airworthiness matters directly in view of the Agency’s task force on GA Part M rules.